Guess which retailer has a surging share price

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Thorn Group Limited’s share price has surged by more than 80 per cent over the last 12 months, bucking the overall trend amongst listed retail groups. Whereas its rival listed consumer electronics retailers have either remained steady or experienced falling share prices, the owner of the Rentlo and Radio Rentals brand has almost doubled in value.

One week out from what is expected to be very a encouraging six months results announcement, Thorn Group, which also owns the BigBrownBox online store, has proven that with a strong business model, profits are achievable during periods of economic uncertainty.

One year ago today (17 November 2010), Thorn Group was trading at $0.93. It closed yesterday at $1.68. That’s a jump of 80.6 per cent. Thorn Group has repeatedly explained its strong performance as a victory for a resilient business model based on continuous revenue streams. Additionally, an online store selling name brands with low overheads and an internal finance system are positive influences.

A look at the last 12 months for other listed retailers is not so impressive. Industry firebrand JB Hi-Fi has lost 16 per cent of its share price (down from $22.59 to $18.81) over the same period.

Harvey Norman, is now showing strength again after a difficult period, was trading at $4.43 this day last year. Now it’s trading at $3.18, a fall of 28 per cent.

The two department stores are also in the red, though one much worse than the other. Myer has lost a scant 3 per cent (down $0.12 to $3.80), whilst David Jones has shed 28 per cent (down from $5.88 to $4.55).

To read about Myer blaming TV sales for downbeat results, click here.

UPDATE: When this story was originally posted, the share price figures for David Jones were incorrectly quoted. The figures are now correct for the dates in question.

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